Monday, January 11, 2010

Cosmic Incursion: It's like magic!

That headline will seem a lot better once you head on over to Fantasy Flight Games and read the description for the newest Cosmic Incursion alien.

(And it's by Bruno Faidutti, too! That's just made of win.)

Quick take: it's my favorite of the CI aliens revealed so far.

22 comments:

Rob Burns said...

I like it a lot... it seems like a more fun way to do what Laser kind of does.

Adam said...

This one's really neat. I just wish there were some way to avoid "Do not play with" restrictions, especially when all of these seem to be with Oracle. Unlike Gambler though, I don't think it'd be possible to avoid the restriction here.

Codex Monkey said...

I don't know, I think there's less confusion here than the oracle/gambler with a house rule.

Two possible ones:

Magician must choose before getting his card from Oracle. Oracle can still predict what his opponent's card is, just not his own.

Oracle can see what card is remaining and Magician's card and Oracle can swap his back into his hand with another card. Does it mean that the Oracle is likely to throw out two crappy cards? Yeah, but thematically, Oracle can't be bluffed easily. Magician would try to only find what he acquired was what Oracle intended all along.



I also would just say it would make more sense to have a short sheet of "not recommended combinations" that can be re-released with every expansion rather than keep putting it on the cards.

TheDukester said...

There's some discussion at BGG that the Oracle restriction really isn't that necessary. Veteran players should be able to play with both aliens easily.

Sleepy Weasel said...

Oh now that's just a clever power.

Adam said...

Well, that requires writing in "Playing With Oracle" exceptions into the power since it would require shifting the phase of activation or the way the power works, and I think Cosmic generally tries to avoid doing things like this.

Gambler on the other hand works just fine as written, for the most part. With Oracle, he bluffs before Oracle plays (the bluff being his "reveal"), and with Sorceror, if cards are switched, the card Gambler played is bluffed instead of revealed.

But I'll probably play with your first suggestion, Codex, thanks. That one sounds neat and simple. I suppose as they release more aliens with restrictions I'll have to keep up a typed sheet of my own with rules on how restricted aliens work. I don't like the idea of not letting two aliens play together. It's a crowded Cosmos. Everyone needs to get along!

Hadsil said...

This power never lacks for a challenge card. Get a good flare or two and keep it forever barring consolation.

bruno faidutti said...

And I hope they didn't change the wild flare…

Kevin Wilson said...

Nope, the wild is just what you requested, Bruno.

bruno faidutti said...

Great !
Thanks Kevin

Andy Bates said...

Okay, now I’m very curious about the Wild Flare!

And for the record (and for everyone involved in the creation of the game), can I say how much I enjoy flares? Over and above everything else, they really add such a great level of chaos to the game, and interesting new dynamics.

Matthew Cary said...

Let me tell ya, the wild flare is.. wacky. Especially when Magician gets it played against him..

As an aside, in playtests the Magician players were known to keep saying "and is *this* your card?" every reveal phase in the cheesiest way possible.

Bill Martinson said...

@Codex Monkey:

I don't like "Do Not Use With..." either, but I would rather have that than an exception sheet that (until you have it memorized) must be consulted every time aliens are selected. Especially since new players would be likely to lose the sheet or not even be aware that it exists.

To get rid of this restriction, I plan to add a single sentence to my copy of Magician:

If another effect requires you to play your card first (e.g., Oracle), after taking a card from your opponent you may exchange it with the card you played, if you wish.

Obviously, Oracle is the immediate impetus for this "clarification", but given the nature of Cosmic it seems inevitable that other new aliens/flares/moons/etc. down the road will require one main player to select/play his card before the other one -- so this is written generically to let Magician peacefully coexist with such hypothetical future effects.

(In fact, it can sort of be argued that we're already there. Because the reward cards have different backs, each main player has an incentive to see which flavor of encounter card the other one is putting face down before he makes his own selection. This will likely require invocation of the timing rule to break the stalemate. I don't see this as an immediate problem for Magician, because it's pretty clear that he overrides the timing of encounter card selection. But it does point out how easily new cards and mechanics can threaten to interfere with the delicate balance!)

Adam said...

Re: your parenthetical statement

You could always just keep your hand over the card until both players have played cards face down. Invoking the timing rule seems over the top.

Bill Martinson said...

Adam, I have a player in my house whose hands are not large enough to do this. You aren't a handist, are you? ;-)

Seriously, I did consider that FFG's position might be "you are allowed to hide the card back" but, egad, I hope that's not the answer.

I feel confident that we have not yet discovered the true extent of the issues that may be created by the different card backs.

TheDukester said...

Warning: any and all handists will be banned. I won't have that sort of intolerance here!

Adam said...

Small-handed people are genetically inferior!

Ahem, sorry, that just sort of slipped out. I know FFG showed a picture of the card backs, but I can't seem to find it. Is it really such a large difference?

Maybe I really am being handist here (!) but I would think anyone young enough to have such small hands would not yet be so cutthroat as to feel the need to cover the card. I don't have particularly large hands and can almost cover the length of two cards with one hand.

But if there are adults who can't manage this, I mean no offense. Seriously, some of my best friends have small hands!

If this isn't FFG's position, I sure hope it's not the timing rule instead. That just seems over the top. At the very least, if hands are an issue, both players could hold their cards under the table and reveal simultaneously. There are certainly other hand-friendly options.

Matthew Cary said...

Well, the way we play at my table is that both players lay their cards, and if anyone wants to change their mind before the reveal phase they are free to do so. Once both players are comfortable with their cards they flip them over.

I guess we have always played that way and the addition of the Rewards deck during playtests just added a bit to the decision.

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